Hokie Wrestling: Mid-Season Update

The Virginia Tech wrestling team opened the season with seven straight dual meet wins, including a convincing 23-14 win over No. 9 ranked Edinboro. Unfortunately for the Hokies, since then the season hasn't been quite as smooth. Tech lost to 15th ranked Virginia on November 24th, and then while wrestling at the Las Vegas Invitational, Hokies 141 pound wrestler Devin Carter, injured himself during a match (which he finished and still won).

The Hokies placed 10th out of 33 teams at the Las Vegas Invitational (12/6 - 12/7). A 5th place finish from Chris Penny (197 pounds), and a 6th place finish from Carter, who had advanced to the semifinals of the tournament before having to default out because of injury, helped Tech close in the top-10. Austin Gabel and Nick Vetterlein each finished 7th at 174 pounds and 184 pounds, respectively.

Next up for the Hokies was the Midlands Championships (12/29 - 12/30). Two current, and one former Hokie placed. Nick Brascetta (157 pounds) and Zach Epperly (174 pounds), both wrestled unattached because they are redshirting, finished in 5th place. The surprise, was turning on the B1G Network and seeing former Hokie wrestler and current Bucknell assistant coach, Jarrod Garnett in the finals.

Kevin Dresser was not impressed.

"Our effort and toughness was unacceptable today," said head coach Kevin Dresser. "We lost because we quit wrestling on too many occasions. 2014 will be coming in like a lion in the Virginia Tech wrestling room on Wednesday. I won't go through another round like this ever again."

Beginning on Jan 10th, the Hokies set out to defend their Virginia Duals title. Tech was the third seed in the 14-team field. On the first day of competition Tech disposed of Nebraska-Kearney (27-6) and Rider (25-9). Tech got off to a hot start winning 15 of the 20 matches wrestled. However, on the second day Tech lost their rematch with Edinboro (9-23). The Hokies did bounce back to win the third place match against Kent State (19-6). In-state rival, Virginia won the Virginia Duals.

"Our fight was good in most places," said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. "I'm excited for the progress at 157 pounds. We need to have a great week to get ready for UNC and Maryland."

The team did just that.

This past weekend, the Hokies hosted North Carolina and Maryland. Tech drubbed North Carolina 29-3 on Friday, and swatted away Maryland 23-9 on senior night. Tech has been blessed to have seniors, John Dickson, Zach Neibert, Chris Penny, Erik Spjut and Nick Vetterlein competing for the university.

Up next is a dual this Friday night against Duke. This dual meet will be held at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC at 7:30 PM Also, don't forget to mark your calendars for March 8, 2014, as the Virginia Tech Wrestling Team defends their ACC Championship title at home in Cassell Coliseum.

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Comments

Thanks for the update. Former wrestler myself, so always glad to see VT doing well. But seriously rough injury for Carter.

dat hammy. . .

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?"-Dadi Nicholas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Long time reader/lurker but seeing this wrestling content aided in my decision for me to register an account (also didn't realize the accounts were free...). Even just a little summary like this for one of Tech's hardest working and, of late, more successful athletic programs is cool to see.

Spjut's win on Sunday was absolutely awesome. On Senior day, over a ranked opponent, and up a weight from where he's been at for the past 2 years. Feel good stuff for sure - I wasn't there in person but on the live feed it really seemed to get the fans at Cassell hyped as well - awesome to see him get some sort of gratification out of his hard work and for all that he's been asked to do for this program (wrestling at 125, 133 and now 141 based on what the team has needed). Hopefully there's more success to come for him and the rest of the Hokie grapplers this year as they progress towards March.

Go Hokies

Ditto what MDHokieFan5 said. Long time lurker, first time poster. Thanks for the update pabooth! Big fan of the wrestling program. They don't get much of the lime-light in VT athletics, but our wrestlers work their tails off to represent their school and themselves in the best possible way. Its a program VT fans can be proud of.

Spjut is so frustrating to watch sometimes, so it was great to see him get that late decision on Senior day. He was banging his fist on the mat for the last three seconds because he knew he had the win and was pumped.

Not having Carter and recently Gabel, has forced Dresser to do some shuffling, but they put in some great effort this past weekend. I hope to see Cassell packed in March for the ACCs. UVA appears to be the team it will come down to again.

Agree. One of the biggest reasons to love TKP is that people contribute updates on a lot of sports. We get baseball, softball, soccer (M&W's) as well as football, and the odd tidbit of the other sports here and there. Especially when we are winning or team needs extra support.

Though I have not seen any Ice Hockey updates which I used to go watch while I was at VT.

Anyway, thanks to pabooth. Hope to read more

It would be pretty awesome to get at least one contributor per sport. One article every two or three weeks would be enough to keep up to date on many of the programs. I would already have called dibs on that women's lacrosse team

West Virginian by birth, Hokie by choice

As a casual fan, I'm familiar with guys needing to make weight, going up or down a few pounds. How does one progress from 125 to 141? I would think muscle mass would already be established if you are successful at the lower weights, and other routes would be necessary. Is this a misconception?


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

A lot depends on the individual as to how much success they have when moving up. Spjut's big disadvantage at 141 is that he is short for the weight, and he has shorter arms, so he is going to have a tougher time getting to his offense (getting to the leg on his shots). He's got the mass, he's very strong, so that isn't necessarily a major factor. Frankly, I think his length caused him to struggle at 133 as well, which is a lot of the reason why he's shown some inconsistency throughout his career. His start to the year was a bit underwhelming causing Dresser to pull the redshirt off Gustafson. Much of the same last year, but Spjut really put it together at the end and his showing at the ACCs was a big reason Tech was able to take home the team title.

The positives, as Spjut explains the weekly presser that was posted on hokiesports this week, is that he isn't having to cut weight to make 141, so his energy levels at 141 are optimized. While he's going to struggle to get to his offense, he's not getting gassed and is wrestling for the full 7 minutes. If he can keep matches close, his conditioning and motor will give him a shot to win some matches in the last 2 minutes, just like this weekend.

Dresser redshirted 3 good wrestlers this year, one being an All-American last year. I assume he may doing this to put the pieces together for a really good team the next few years.

It hasn't been updated lately, but check out these rankings of red-shirt and non-starting wrestlers in Division 1: AWN Rankings.

Virginia Tech is very well represented and has a nice stock of talent for future years.

I think the future is really bright for Hokie wrestling. So very glad we have Kevein D leading the way.

I'd like to see more sports doing an event / meet / match whatever every year in NOVA and the beach. I don't know if it is possible / feasible but it might be a way of growing alumni participation / funding without increasing HokieClub commitments. The whole commute to Blacksburg for football games is a lot for sports playing families. I get that home games in NOVA / Beach are an inconvenience for student athletes so clearly this would have to be a once a season type of thing only if it showed alumni support benefits. Unfortunately my kids' schedules make football games impossible, but I would try to show up for soccer, wrestling, rugby, ice hockey schedule permitting.

Just an idea... probably been tried before...